City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture Welcomes Robert Irwin’s Portal Park Slice into its Public Art Collection

This site-specific sculpture located in the new Carpenter Park will be unveiled to the public at the park opening on Tuesday, May 3, 2022

DALLAS, Texas (April 25, 2022) – The City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture is pleased to welcome Portal Park Slice, a work by renowned contemporary artist Robert Irwin, into the City’s public art collection. This sculpture is a revision to the sculpture, Portal Park Piece (Slice) that was originally installed in John W. Carpenter Plaza in 1981.

Robert W. Irwin is one of the most significant American artists working today and is known for his site-conditioned artworks that explore the effects of light through interventions in space and architecture. This artwork was originally installed in 1981 at John W. Carpenter Plaza, then called Portal Park Piece (Slice). In 2016, the piece was removed from its longtime north-south position in the Plaza as a part of the redevelopment of Carpenter Plaza. Irwin worked with nonprofit group Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy and landscape architecture firm Hargreaves Jones to add new segments of filigreed steel and reconfigure this piece to sit on an east-west axis through a hill that overlooks the park and the city skyline. This is the only time in his career that Irwin has agreed to alter a work. Irwin has re-titled the sculpture Portal Park Slice.

To learn more about the history and design of this work of art, watch a 10-minute short film directed by local filmmaker Quin Mathews:

This city-owned sculpture will be maintained in perpetuity thanks to a permanent endowment established with a generous $300,000 gift from the Howard Earl Rachofsky Foundation for Portal Park Slice. The endowment is overseen by Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy and its Trustees, the nonprofit developing Carpenter Park through a public-private partnership with the Dallas Park and Recreation Department.

 “We are pleased to see this work return to Carpenter Park in its reimagined form.  It is so rare that an artist of Robert Irwin’s significance participates in the relocation of a site-specific work completed 41 years ago.  Its presence along the sidewalk will be a cultural highlight of the park,” says Benjamin Espino, interim Director of the City’s Office of Arts and Culture.

Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy President and CEO Amy Meadows says “Carpenter Park is a unique opportunity to revitalize a vacant green space bisected by roadways into a vibrant park that hosts one of Robert Irwin’s early, iconic works. We look forward to sharing this space, and this art, with the citizens of Dallas when the park opens on May 3rd.”

On April 30 at 11:30 am, the Nasher Sculpture Center will present ‘The (Re)Making of Robert Irwin’s Portal Park Slice at Carpenter Park, a panel discussion moderated by Mark Lamster, Dallas Morning News architecture critic. This event is free with advance registration.

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